The 3 Types of Closed Loop Geothermal Energy Systems

At Applied Resource Management, we’re big fans of geothermal energy. What’s not to like? Compared to air source heat pumps, geothermal is efficient, easier to maintain, and less expensive in the long run, to name just a few benefits.

By now, you’re probably sold on geothermal. “Sign me up!” you say. Before you can contact Applied Resource Management and schedule an installation, there’s one more thing you must consider. Do you want a closed loop system, or an open loop system? While both have benefits, there will be one system that is right for you depending on your home’s size, location, insulation type, and other factors. Today, we’re going to discuss closed loop systems in more detail—if you’re interested in open loop systems, stay tuned for a future post!

In a closed loop system, underground piping loops circulate fluid out of the ground and then back through the heat pump in a continuous loop. These systems are installed in three different ways:

Vertical Closed Loop System

The most common kind of closed loop system is installed vertically, as this requires less space. Closed loop systems provide more control over the amount of water used and require less maintenance. These are often used by large commercial buildings and schools, since the land in these locations is often more expensive. Vertical closed loop systems are also a great choice

Horizontal Closed Loop Systems

This type of installation is generally most cost-effective for residential installations, particularly for new construction where sufficient land is available. It requires trenches at least four feet deep.

Pond/Lake Closed Loop Systems

This option is the most affordable, but it comes with a catch—you have to have an adequate body of water in order to install it. In this closed loop system, a supply line pipe is run underground from the building to the water and coiled into circles eight feed under the surface, which is deep enough to prevent freezing.

How to Get a Closed Loop System

A drilling contractor, such as those employed at Applied Resource Management, can install whichever style of closed loop system is the best fit for your home. If you’re interested in this environmentally friendly and cost-effective heating and cooling system, contact us today to get started!

Benefits of geothermal energy

Case Study: A Geothermal Energy Bill 

If you’re an energy-conscious homeowner, you’re probably at least interested in geothermal energy. That’s because a groundwater geothermal system uses the constant temperature of the ground to heat and cool the home. It’s good for the environment and cheaper in the long run, making it an excellent choice for many families and homes.

We know what you’re thinking. “Sure, Applied Resource Management says that geothermal energy is better for my home. But can they prove it?” Today, we’re going to do exactly that with the help of a case study.

A Geothermal Home in Hampstead, NC

To prove our point, we’ll use the example of a project we completed a few years ago in Hampstead, NC. This home is located in coastal North Carolina, where summer temps are sweltering and winters tend to be fairly mild. At 3,500 square feet, this single home is considered large by most standards. It includes four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a formal dining room, a breakfast nook, and a large, open kitchen.

Shortly after moving into the house, the homeowners realized that their previous system for heating and cooling—a forced air furnace and hot water tank—was very expensive. Not only that, they also had to constantly adjust the temperature manually, as it was difficult to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the house. Too often, the lower floors—especially the kitchen—would be uncomfortably hot, while the upstairs bedrooms were cool and drafty.

Trying Something New

The homeowners had read about geothermal energy and were interested in it. Now that they owned a home that needed a change, it seemed like the perfect time to try this system out for themselves. They were drawn to geothermal for environmental reasons, but they were excited about the prospect of bringing down their monthly energy bill as well. They knew a project of this scale required the skill and expertise of an experienced environmental company, and contacted Applied Resource Management to get the job done.

The Results

ARM completed installation a few years ago, and in that time the homeowners have enjoyed and appreciated the changes to their home. Temperature is now consistent throughout the home and no one has to adjust the thermostat in order to feel comfortable. They are happy to know their decision is better for the environment and the land their home stands on. And—best of all—their energy bill is much lower than it was previously. For this 3,500 square foot home, their electric bill is an average of $118 per month, saving them hundreds of dollars now, and thousands of dollars in the future.

If you’d like to enjoy these benefits in your own home, contact Applied Resource Management and learn more about what we can do for you.

Ways to lower your air conditioning bill

5 Ways to Lower Your AC Bill This Summer

The temperatures are rising, the days are getting longer, and off in the distance we can hear the sweet siren of the ice cream truck. This can only mean one thing—summer is officially here! As we all know, summers in North Carolina are hot and humid, which means air conditioning is pretty much a necessity. While cranking up the AC and enjoying the cool air is lovely, it can also put a strain on your wallet. This is a shame, mostly because it means there’s less cash for beach trips and new bathing suits! Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of ways to keep your energy costs down this summer. Give them a try and reap the rewards!

1. Turn up your thermostat when you’re away.

Some people believe that it uses less energy to maintain the same temperature constantly, but this myth has been debunked! For the most savings, keep your home a few degrees warmer when you’re at work, and then turn it down to a cool 78F when you get home.

2. Use ceiling fans to keep the room cool.

Turning on the ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat about 4F without feeling any change in temperature. But remember to turn off the fan when you leave the room—while fans will keep a person cool by creating a wind chill affect, they don’t actually lower the temperature in the room. Keeping them on when no one is using them is a waste of energy!

3. Embrace your outdoor grill.

Summer is ideal barbeque weather, and it’s not just because of the hot dogs and hamburgers. Grilling outside means you can avoid turning on your oven or raising the temperature with a hot stovetop. If the weather isn’t cooperating, opt for fresh salads and sandwiches, or let your microwave do the heavy lifting.

4. Cover your windows.

We love a sunny day as much as the next person, but if you want to keep your home cool, it helps to keep the sun out. For a quick fix, close your curtains, blinds, and shades. If you want to take window coverings to the next level, invest in solar screens or window films. These products can keep up to 70% of solar energy out of your home and will pay for themselves by the time fall rolls around.

5. Install a geothermal cooling system.

Geothermal energy is an effective way to cut down on energy costs, especially in the summer—you could save between 30% and 70%! While installing a geothermal system might seem like a lot of work, the long-term benefits are worth it. Homes with geothermal energy systems are also eligible for certain tax breaks, which means you could be enjoying a 30% tax credit next spring. If you’re interested in exploring geothermal energy as a way to lower your air conditioning bill, contact Applied Resource Management today and learn more about our full range of geothermal well drilling and loop system installation services.

We hope this post has given you some cool ideas for keeping costs down this summer. For more tips on saving energy and living a green life, like us on Facebook. In the meantime, have a great summer!

Geothermal Versus Air Source Heat Pumps

Geothermal HVAC vs. Air Source Heat Pumps 

At Applied Resource Management, we’re big believers in geothermal energy. Because of this, we get a lot of questions about geothermal. Is it really that much better than a traditional air source heat pump? Is it worth updating your current system? How do these two heating and cooling systems really compare?

To answer these questions and shed some light on the benefits of geothermal heating & cooling, we’ve put together the following post that pits geothermal (water source) against traditional (air source) heat pumps. See how they stack up, then decide which one is right for you. And remember—if you choose geothermal, Applied Resource Management can help install it in your home or business.

Source

Geothermal heating & cooling utilizes never-ending solar energy stored in the shallow earth to modulate your inside air temperature. It is heat that is available, renewable, consistent, and hidden just below the surface of the earth. Air source heat pumps, on the other hand, inefficiently collect air from the extremes of summer and winter, struggling to squeeze coolness from the dog days of August and heat from frigid January nights.

Efficiency

Geothermal heat pump systems are more energy efficient. Even in the coldest winter, they operate between 300% and 600% efficiency, while an air source heat pump only reaches 175% to 300% efficiency, even when the weather is milder. This is a great benefit for your wallet as well as the planet!

Cost

While air source heat pumps are cheaper to install initially, they have about half the life expectancy and efficiency. Geothermal energy will offer a lower price tag in the long run. This is a case in which a little patience can yield big savings. If you plan to move in the next few years, you may be tempted to install an air source heat pump to save money. We still recommend going geothermal, as a geothermal system can increase the value of your home.

Maintenance

All the components of a geothermal heat pump are indoors or underground, which protects them from the elements. Air source heat pumps, on the other hand, require an outdoor unit, which will need to be cleaned regularly in order for it to run efficiently. This takes time and energy. The lovely sea air we enjoy so much locally will also do considerable damage to an outdoor condenser unit, reducing the life expectancy to around +/- 8 years. A geothermal condenser has a 30 year life expectancy. In the case of damage caused by salt air, debris, storms, or vandals, the help of a professional is likely required.

Taxes

Buying and installing an Energy Star-qualified geothermal heat pump means you may be eligible for a 30% federal tax credit. There is no similar tax credit for air source heat pumps.

We hope this post helps you narrow down your choices as you consider heating and cooling solutions for your home! To learn more about geothermal energy, or to schedule a consultation and installation, contact Applied Resource Management today.

ARM-Geothermal-myths

Myths About Geothermal Energy Debunked

Usually when something seems too good to be true, it is. Ice cream that never melts? A newborn baby that sleeps through the night? That Nigerian prince who wants to send you one million dollars? Nope, nope, and nope.

There is, however, one thing that does lives up to the hype—geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is created from the natural heat of the earth. It’s also efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly.  Because it sounds too good to be true, there are plenty of myths associated with it, which is a shame—especially if those myths keep people from going geothermal. That’s why today, we’re finally setting the record straight.

Myth #1: Geothermal energy systems are too expensive.

While it’s true that the upfront costs of installing a geothermal system might seem steep, that’s only because you’re looking at the short term picture. Over the years, a geothermal energy system will actually save you anywhere from 30% to 70% on your monthly utility bill and you might also be eligible to receive a tax break. Those savings will quickly add up!

Myth #2: Geothermal energy is only for heat. What about my AC?

During the winter, geothermal energy systems draw heat from the earth—this is absolutely true. Also true is that during the summer, that same system can draw heat from your home and transfer it to the ground, using the earth as a heat sink. This keeps your house comfortable, no matter how hot or cold it gets outside.

Myth #3: Geothermal energy systems are too noisy.

Some people confuse geothermal energy systems with generators, which are loud, noisy, and obtrusive—and nothing like geothermal energy systems! In reality, our systems run very quietly and are mostly underground. The odds are high that you and your neighbors won’t even notice they’re there.

Myth #4: Geothermal energy systems require too much maintenance.

Because our systems are underground, they’re protected from the daily wear and tear of the elements, which means their life expectancy is over 200 years. Ground loops also come with a 25-year warranty for ground loops, and water source heat pumps regularly last for over 30 years. Compared to the 8-10 years coastal air-to-air traditional systems last, you’re looking at a long and happy life! Plus, when your system does need maintenance, our installers are IGSHPA certified and can get the job done quickly and easily.

Myth #5: My house is too old for a geothermal energy system.

It doesn’t matter if your home was built five years ago or five decades ago—geothermal energy is always a great choice. After all, age is relative, especially when it comes to benefits such as a smaller carbon footprint, economic savings, and increased property value.

Now that you know geothermal energy really is as great as it sounds, you probably want to install it ASAP. If you’re ready to go geothermal, contact Applied Resource Management today—we have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to get you going. As for that Nigerian prince, well, you’re on your own.